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Uruguay Holds Presidential Election


Uruguay is holding national elections that could give the South American nation its first leftist leader.

Leftist candidate Tabare Vazquez, a 64-year-old doctor, is widely favored to win the presidency by more than the 50 percent needed to avoid a November runoff. Political observers say his Broad Front coalition could also win majorities in Congress.

Anger over Uruguay's 1999-2003 economic crisis is expected to adversely affect the two candidates from the traditional parties - the Blanco and the Colorado - that have ruled the once-prosperous nation for the past 170 years.

Pre-election polls gave 30 percent of the vote to center-right Blanco candidate Jorge Larranaga. Guillermo Stirling of the ruling Colorado Party trailed with 10 percent.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.